Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I love Fall . . .

I love Fall!!  Here's my little woodland scene for this week's "Autumn" tag theme over at the Tag Tuesday blog.  It was fun to layer up all of the color and textures . . . trying to portray the richness and beauty of the season.

Our lot is so wooded, and we have already spent many hours raking, blowing, and gathering leaves.  And there are still SO many that haven't fallen!   It was easy go outside and gather up mossy twigs to make this little tag's frame.  We have lots of fallen acorns in our yard as well, and one got a place of honor at the top of my tag:

I was driving down our hill the other day, and it hit me how lucky I am to have this view, with the turning leaves and the glorious backdrop of the wooded hillside:

It's so beautiful, and the crisp and sunny days have been awesome!

I'll have to remember this in a few months, when it will be gray and rainy outside my window for weeks on end.

But in the meantime, I love Fall!!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I've been in the mood to do some lettering on a tag for a while, and this week's theme over at Tag Tuesday lent itself to the whimsical style I wanted to try.  I found the quote (I Googled 'shoe quotes' makes me laugh that we can Google something so specific and have plenty to choose from!), and inked it in a not-too-serious style, then added color with watercolor markers.  The cute die-cut tag is from Core'dinations.  I've had the tiny enameled shoe charms in my stash for years (I still have the matching purse charm!), and they were the perfect touch to hang from grommets I added at the bottom.
Anyone inspired to go do some shopping?!? 
After all, life is short!!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

'New' Stuff to Play With: Old Watch Faces!

Look at this pile of rusty, crusty goodness I get to play with!
I just acquired more old watch faces to add to my stash for jewelry making.  The Art & Soul week-long art class event was last week here in Portland, capped off with a vendor night with lots of goodies and supplies for sale.  I don't go to the classes (mainly, because I'm too cheap, plus, I really feel like I've got a lot of the skills down....I just need to get off my butt and DO something with the skills I have now and be busy making stuff rather than sitting in a class...or sitting here at my computer...  But DO I??!!?), but I do try and make it to the vendor night to check out the fun stuff for sale and to chat with some of the artists and instructors.  Besides being stuck on the freeway for almost two hours (arghgh!!) behind a bad crash on the way there, I had a great time, and picked up a few 'new' supplies.

And I love these old watch faces. The cute round one at the top of the pile with the turquoise numbers is a favorite, as are the really old and grungy ones.  Here's what I plan to do with them:
I better get busy!! Time's a'wastin' !!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A BIG Bunch of Tags

I've been trying to do a little just-for-fun crafting once a week with the Tag Tuesday Blog, and here are my recent submissions:
The tag theme several weeks ago was "Windows, Gates, Doors and Portals". This photo of my grandmother (circa 1970 or so) captures the scene we saw so often in our younger years.  Traveling to Grandma's farm for a visit every few years, we knew when we pulled up, we would see her, standing behind the screen door of her Nebraska farmhouse, ready to welcome us inside to feast on homemade bread, fresh eggs, milk from her cows, and sausage from the smokehouse.  There she would stand, too, when we drove away at the end of our visit, a warm smile always on her face.  This tag, an 'Ode to Grandma's Screen Door', is fairly simple and homespun, to reflect Grandma's style, using gingham ribbon and a few daisies.  It evokes a sweet memory for me.

The next week's theme was "Eyes", and, since Gretchen had just gone away to college, I made this tag with her in mind:
A simple rebus, expressing my melancholy sentiments.  I tucked this tag into her first care package sent from home.  The eye, above, is cropped from this photo of her:
She called with a funny story: while carrying her tray in the college cafeteria and minding her own business, a hulking refrigerator-sized football player walked toward her. He stopped dead in his tracks, then hopped backward, stared at her and remarked, "Damn...those are some crazy eyes"!  And then he abruptly walked away, leaving her standing there, wondering if she had just been complimented...or just the opposite!  (It's hard waiting till Christmas before I can see her crazy eyes again!)

The following week's theme was "Wings".  Since I was short on time, I kept the tag really simple, using a print from one of my angel paintings. A bit of fine glitter was sprinkled here and there on the outspread wings for a little twinkle, and sheer, sparkly ribbons were added for the ties.  Easy, peasy, and done:

Next up was a challenging tag theme, "Egypt".  I really didn't want to go with Cleopatra or Tut or hieroglyphics, because those were already being done quite a bit by the other contributors.  Instead,  Bible stories were my inspiration, tales of Joseph and Jacob, Pharaohs, and my favorite: Moses being found in a basket by an Egyptian princess.  I have a wonderful old Bible story book, published in 1923, that has beautiful illustrations, so I scanned and made a print of this depiction of the baby Moses:
When other elements were added, it turned out like this:

Last week the theme was "Beads, Buttons and Bows", and this angelic photo got a little halo of old pearls, shell buttons down her dress, and a big bow from buttery ivory satin ribbon:
(I just love that vintage image!  She is so demure and precious, and the dress is gorgeous).

And FINALLY, this week I made a concoction of a tag for the theme "Tattered & Torn", gathering up crumbling bits from around my studio (which was easy to do, since this room is full of rusty, crusty, tarnished, tattered, torn, aged and patinaed junque...):
The base of the tag is the torn-off front cover of the sweetest little book, just a bit over 3" x 5".  My daughter found it at a junk shop on her travels, and sent it to me (my family knows me well!).  It is gold embossed leather, very old and decrepit, with all the requisite tatters.  The center is wrapped with a sash of rumpled amber-colored silk, which I topped with a rose I made from frayed satin binding.
At the top, I've placed a pile of unraveling vintage fabric bits, and the 'jewel' on top is a grungy and bent old watch face, with most of its finish worn off:

At the bottom, I've put more frayed binding, laced through a wonderfully rusted heart-shaped metal buckle.  I found that buckle in the street one day, and practically squealed! (Rusty, crusty stuff gets me giddy...I'm weird that way).

The bottom of the tag is fringed with scraggly crocheted trim, to add one more "Tattered and Torn" element (because we all know more is more:-))

And speaking of MORE, thank goodness there are NO MORE tags to show you. 

Until next week, that is.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

BOO! Halloween Necklaces

I added a bunch of spooky Halloween soldered charms to my Etsy shop tonight:
These were all made as class samples for Halloween Charm classes I taught in the past, and I pulled them out over the weekend and dolled them up a little with added soldered dots and crystal dangles. 
There are little witches...
and creepy skulls and skeletons...
and wicked little Halloween-y cut-out words.
(And I also wanted to play around in Photoshop, and figure out how to make these photo grids...thank you for bearing with me!)

I am suddenly in the mood for candy corn and fun-size Snickers. . .